As a Society, SPSP values diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas.

The SPSP Equity and Anti-Racism (EAR) task force was convened in the fall of 2020 to address equity and justice issues in SPSP through systemic, progressive, and long-lasting change. The EAR comprised representatives of SPSP standing committees, staff, MALs, and general members. The mission of the task force was to provide recommendations and strategies for SPSP to accomplish the following:

  • Identify and address institutional and structural racism within SPSP;
  • Ensure SPSP provides equity across all facets of the organization;
  • Ensure SPSP leadership is as diverse as the membership of SPSP;
  • Advance the field of social and personality psychology by providing meaningful mechanisms to our members to eliminate institutional racism in society.

Throughout this effort, the EAR and our Society have based this work on the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of anti-racism: “the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.”

Society-wide Commitment

The breadth and depth of the changes required for the organization to become an anti-racist organization require the engagement of multiple stakeholders over multiple stages. This task force is explicit in its recommendation that the implementation of these recommendations not fall solely to the Diversity and Climate Committee, which would silo anti-racist work and be counter-productive to systemic change. In keeping with the Society’s stated core value of diversity, the task force notes that anti-racism ought to be a goal of all arms of Society leadership.

As the flagship organization for social and personality psychology, SPSP holds a special responsibility as a primary catalyst for social justice in the field. The Task Force recognizes the need for the organization to make fundamental changes to its priorities and activities in ways that address the goal of anti-racism and equity.


Changes within the organization are intended to radiate to the field over time, influencing all aspects of how our science is conceptualized, conducted, and disseminated. SPSP events bring together the social and personality psychology community and serve as a platform for signaling to both the overarching norms and values of SPSP regarding anti-racism and equity and the value of research examining these topics. Therefore, through SPSP events and research selection processes, SPSP should demonstrate its commitment to anti-racism.

Goal 1: Demonstrate that SPSP values diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas

Goal 2: Facilitate the development of more anti-racist scholarship in our field (e.g. reduce racist method practices, place equal value on the research of minoritized, non-US, or non-WEIRD participants)

Goal 3: Increase representation of individuals from diverse and underrepresented groups within our presenters and research teams

Annual Convention

In 2021, the SPSP Equity and Anti-Racism (EAR) Taskforce suggested that we ask people to indicate how their presentation advances the Equity and Anti-racism goals of SPSP. The SPSP board agreed that we should do so. 

We have implemented a pilot program for the 2022–2024 conventions asking submitters whether and how their submissions advance SPSP’s goals of diversity, equity, inclusion, or anti-racism. Learn more here.